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La Vie en Rose: Fascinating color photographs of Paris in 1968

Ian Smith

The city of light, Paris, is always beautiful and magical, regardless of the era. However, we found a beautiful collection of Vintage Paris from 1968.

 

In May 1968, a student uprising in Paris led to major changes in the educational system, and the breakup of the University of Paris into separate campuses.

Paris had not had an elected Mayor since the French Revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte and his successors had personally chosen the Prefect to run the city. Under President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the law was changed on December 31, 1975. The first mayoral election in 1977 was won by Jacques Chirac, the former Prime Minister. Chirac served as Mayor of Paris for eighteen years, until 1995, when he was elected President of the Republic. He was succeeded by another candidate of the right, Jean Tibéri.

Take a look at the beautiful colors of Paris from the 60s.

Arch of Triumph from Eiffel Tower

Arch of Triumph from Eiffel Tower

 

Assemblée Nationale

Assemblée Nationale

 

Carrousel and Louvre

Carrousel and Louvre

 

Champs-Élysées

Champs-Élysées

 

East from Eiffel Tower

East from Eiffel Tower

 

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Until the 1960s there were no tall buildings in Paris to share the skyline with the Eiffel Tower, the tallest structure in the city; a strict height limit of thirty-five meters was in place. However, in October 1958, under the Fifth Republic, in order to permit the construction of more housing and office buildings, the rules began to change. A new urban plan for the city was adopted by the municipal council in 1959. Higher buildings were permitted, as long as they met both technical and aesthetic standards. The first new tower to be constructed was an apartment building, the Tour Croulebarbe, at 33 rue Croulebarbe in the 13th arrondissement. It was twenty-two stories, and sixty one meters high, and was completed in 1961. Between 1960 and 1975, about 160 new buildings higher than fifteen stories were constructed in Paris, more than half of them in the 13th and 15th arrondissements. Most of them were about one hundred meters high; several clusters of high-rises the work one developer, Michel Holley, who built the towers of Place d’Italie, Front de Seine, and Hauts de Belleville.

ESE from Eiffel Tower

ESE from Eiffel Tower

Gargoyles of Notre Dame

Gargoyles of Notre Dame

Hôtel de Ville

Hôtel de Ville

Invalides

Invalides

Northeast from Eiffel Tower

Northeast from Eiffel Tower

Between 1959 and 1968, the old Montparnasse railway station was demolished and rebuilt nearby, making a large parcel of land available for construction. The municipal council learned of the project only indirectly, through a message from the ministry in charge of construction projects. The first plan, proposed in 1957, was a new headquarters for Air France, a state-owned enterprise, in a tower 150 meters high. in 1959, the proposed height was increased to 170 meters. In 1965, to protect the views in the historic part of the city, the municipal council declared that the new building should be shorter, so it would not visible from the esplanade of Les Invalides. In 1967, the Prefect of Paris, representing the government of President de Gaulle, overruled the municipal council decision, raised the height to two hundred meters, to create more rentable office space. The new building, built between 1969 and 1972, was (and still is) the tallest building within the city limits.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Palais-Royal

Palais-Royal

Palais-Royal

Palais-Royal

Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde

Place Vendôme

Place Vendôme

Southeast from Eiffel Tower

Southeast from Eiffel Tower

 

View from Hotel Room

View from Hotel Room

 

View from Notre Dame

View from Notre Dame

Photos taken by Roger W